Chicago Blackhawks – 2010 Stanley Cup Champions!

by derek on June 10, 2010 · 4 comments

Chicago Blackhawks - 2010 Stanley Cup Champions

Chicago Blackhawks – 2010 Stanley Cup Champions!

Last night the Chicago Blackhawks culminated their tremendous regular season and run through the playoffs by winning the 2010 Stanley Cup and bringing the Cup back to Chicago for the first time since 1961.

Being a Blackhawks fan for my entire life, I was not around in those early years but do fondly, unfortunately, remember the run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992 when the Blackhawks were swiftly eliminated in four games by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fast forward 18 years and there were certainly anxious moments during the Finals, as I would be lying if I said there were not fears of the Blackhawks being eliminated again by a team from Pennsylvania. Before the playoffs began, one of the most significant unknowns was how Antti Niemi would respond to the pressures of being in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in his young NHL career.

As I wrote earlier, Niemi’s performance turned out to be the least cause for concern as he was regularly found to be standing on his head through the first three rounds of the playoffs and certainly at key moments within the Stanley Cup Finals (his save with about 1:30 left in the 3rd period as a prime example).

Beyond the star power of the Blackhawks, there were huge contributions made by unexpected players – Brent Sopel stepping up in huge fashion with his shot blocks and penalty killing, Nick Boynton stepping in late in the Finals to add some stability, Ben Eager with an enormous game winning goal. All Blackhawks fans know that I could go on and on with examples of role players that stepped up their game to help bring the Cup back to Chicago.

Ultimately, the picture above really summarizes this storied season for the Chicago Blackhawks as the youngsers, Toews and Kane, have had such a significant role in turning this franchise around from the nights of playing in front of a nearly empty barn to the unbelievable celebration underway for the organization, all of the fans, and the city of Chicago.

Chicago Blackhawks – 2010 Stanley Cup Champions!

As many times as I have said that phrase since last night, I don’t think it will ever get old!

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